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"Indignation" – Official Thread

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  • WildforFilm
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    #1201908294

    I searched and couldn’t find a thread for Indignation, so I started one!

    I saw this film tonight and it has instantly become my favorite film of the year. I went in expecting a certain storyline and “feel” for the film, but it was different than my expectations, in a good way. The trailer is good because it doesn’t spoil a lot, but this film was much heavier than I expected. I left the theater not knowing what to think of it all, it was overwhelming.

    Logan Lerman is an amazing actor and he chooses very smart roles (atleast over the past few years). I think he was Oscar worthy in Perks of Being A Wallflower (it kills me it was nominated for NOTHING!) If he’s in a film, I’m willing to check it out. I would love for him to get some attention for this.

    I don’t want to spoil too much, because the experience shouldn’t be told, it should be seen.

    Personally, as of now, I would nominate this film for Picture, Actor, Supporting Actress (Marcus’ mother), and Adapted Screenplay. I think it premiered too early (based on past Oscar seasons) but I would love for it to be recognized.

    Has anyone else seen this film? Thoughts?

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    GusCruz
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    #1201908322

    I love the book and can’t wait to watch it. Glad you liked it so much.

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    OnTheAisle
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    #1201908329

    Based on enthusiastic reviews, I went to see Indignation. I should have stayed home and avoided this overrated, stuffy period drama.

    Adapted from the work of novelist Philip Roth, the film is bookended by a Korean War two man conflict that reeks of a cheap set and poor cinematography.

    The story is an coming of age tale of a Jewish college freshman who succumbs to the charms of a lovely but damaged blonde. The events are predictable, bordering on cliche.

    Technically the film is competent. The only aspect worthy of praise is the interesting set design. Veteran Broadway actors Tracy Letts, Linda Emond and Danny Burstein are strong but given quite little to do. It is a film about the young.

    Basically this is a great movie if you have only recently discovered that sex is amazing and the life lesson that independence comes with good or bad results depending how you choose to play it.

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    WildforFilm
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    #1201908360

    Based on enthusiastic reviews, I went to see Indignation. I should have stayed home and avoided this overrated, stuffy period drama.

    Adapted from the work of novelist Philip Roth, the film is bookended by a Korean War two man conflict that reeks of a cheap set and poor cinematography.

    The story is an coming of age tale of a Jewish college freshman who succumbs to the charms of a lovely but damaged blonde. The events are predictable, bordering on cliche.

    Technically the film is competent. The only aspect worthy of praise is the interesting set design. Veteran Broadway actors Tracy Letts, Linda Emond and Danny Burstein are strong but given quite little to do. It is a film about the young.

    Basically this is a great movie if you have only recently discovered that sex is amazing and the life lesson that independence comes with good or bad results depending how you choose to play it.

    Really? I can’t believe you found this film to be as shallow as you imply. While some major plot points of the film revolve around sex, I think this film is much deeper than you give it credit for. Marcus is a mess of a person, dealing with some very heavy anxieties that he has somehow accumulated over his life. I found it very sad to see him struggle morally on almost every aspect of his life, no matter the size of the issue.

    To each their own I suppose, as there are many “great” films that I loathe. Thanks for sharing your thoughts though!

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    OnTheAisle
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    #1201908377

    Clearly most of the major writers of film criticism side with your perspective. Reviews are glowing.

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    jasonface
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    #1201911598

    I just saw this movie last night and really enjoyed it! Admittedly, it takes me a couple of viewings to fully absorb all the details of a film and because it’s still so new, there is very little explanations anywhere online. The film may have answered some of these questions, but I feel things were intentionally left more unclear and perhaps up for interpretation (which I like!) and so hopefully, someone could help me figure some points out and give me their own opinions.

    *SPOILERS*

    1) Was Olivia really as promiscuous as people, like Sonny, said? The film seemed to put emphasis on her sexual actions toward Marcus which could either support these “rumors” or just show how much she really did exclusively like Marcus.

    2) Was Olivia really pregnant? If so, it does not seem like it could be Marcus’s and therefore, she must have “cheated” on him, backing the claims of promiscuity.

    3) Why did Olivia have a nervous breakdown? And what caused her to leave school? Being pregnant? Was she unjustly kicked out for the handjob in the hospital because of her history and Marcus wasn’t? Or did she really have problems with her emotions as she explained to Marcus in the hospital when he called her “poised”?

    I read online that the book answers these questions more explicitly and does shed a somewhat negative light on Olivia, but apparently, they changed her characterization in the film to a more positive one. So, rather than learn more about the outcome of book Olivia, I was wondering about film Olivia (if they really are as different as I heard). I’m not sure if this is true but showing Olivia as an aging, confused woman in a nursing home did make me feel more sympathetic toward her.

    I’m not sure about these few things and like I said, I could have missed clear indications throughout the film. I’ll have to rewatch it when I can and plan to read the novel to gain more clarity. But like I said, I’m more interested in what the film wants to convey to audiences rather than the book. Thanks!

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    WildforFilm
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    #1201911713

    Here’s my thoughts on your questions:

    1) I would say yes, because multiple characters mention it I believe. Also, it was only their first date when she was with him in the car.

    2) Yes. I don’t think the dean would have mentioned it to Marcus had it not been true. I also believe Marcus isn’t the father. She was very cryptic about her own father, so part of me wonders if it was him. Could explain why she cut herself and why he sent her to the hospital, where she experienced electric shock treatment (try to wipe her memory??) Or went to the hospital as a cover for getting an abortion.

    3) I think the breakdown is solely left up to the viewer to interpret. There was so much mystery surrounding Olivia and her family, so it’s hard to pinpoint an exact cause.

    I think so much of this film is an examination of the time period in which it takes place. It’s my understanding this was a popular time for asylums, experimental treatments, and other “methods” of curing people’s “problems.” I think a lot of Olivia’s issues revolved around these treatments for mental health issues.

    On a different note, were you just as surprised about the ending?

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    Kevin Dillon
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    #1201911817

    I liked this film a lot, and I think the way it analyzes patriarchy is fascinating.

    I also love the way in which it felt timeless (much in the way Mad Men did) with the way it told the story.

    Lerman’s performance is incredibly nuanced, and the acting all around is brilliant.

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    jasonface
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    #1201911863

    Okay yes, your responses all make perfect sense. Thank you so much! I completely forgot to ask about her father as well. I thought the movie suggested some sort of inappropriate past between him and Olivia, especially when Marcus asked about him in the hospital and she recoiled telling him to “practice tact”. Although according to someone online who has read the book, she is not abused by her father in any way, but again, I think there are some large differences between the book and film (and perhaps it’s really just up to the reader’s interpretation, not sure). Therefore, I agree she was most likely taken advantage of by him.

    Still, though, I feel like we are almost supposed to pity Olivia in a way, but the mystery behind her actions do make me dislike and question her. I don’t know why she was so forward with Marcus and what her motivations were. She wanted to be his girlfriend? She just wanted to mess around like that? She was just screwing with his head? Clearly, she didn’t want just him then if she got pregnant by someone else. Or did Marcus’s mother say something to her after their first meeting to make her stay away? She walked away from Mrs. Messner rather strangely. Maybe, I’m looking too much into it, but she’s just such an enigma and I want to know her real backstory. I suppose we can feel sorry for her being a victim of the times, though, with the electroconvulsive therapy and “treatments” and the possibility of incest molestation. I’m not sure how we are supposed to view her and what is true and what is false.

    As for the ending, I was very surprised! I remembered the opening with the old woman in the nursing home and eventually assumed it to be Olivia. As for the second scene of the Korean War, I completely forgot about it and just disregarded it as the fate behind Marcus’s cousin/friend as it was placed right before the funeral part.

    I just wish I could really distinguish what was true about Olivia, but regardless, I did like the movie so much. It will definitely remain one of my favorites even by the end of the year.

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    Richard Carvill King
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    #1202135539

    Having just viewed the film on cable, and never having read the novel, I searched for others’ thoughts on Olivia at the end. Was it a mental facility? She is portrayed as confused; or is she reflecting on her past, as Marcus is? Unless I misheard, she is addressed as “Mrs,” so she apparently recovered enough from her breakdown to go on with her life and marry. Was it definitively stated that she was pregnant? Thinking that it was, I wondered whether she had impregnated herself with Marcus’ sperm? She disappears into the bathroom, but perhaps it is only the movie’s slow pace that suggests something. While promiscuity is suggested, might it be possible that her reputation was entirely the result of Marcus having told his roommates about the blowjob, and word having spread around campus? The way her character was played, her description of her sexual background rang true, and her forwardness with Marcus could be explained by a very strong intellectual and physical attraction to him. Her thought that the two of them belonged together in a garret in Paris suggests this. Olivia’s confrontation with Marcus’ mother suggests itself as somehow causal of her breakdown, but again no clear timeline to the movie’s events leaves this fuzzy. One obviously wonders about incest, fanned by Olivia’s comment on tact, but for some reason this doesn’t seem like a the cause of Olivia’s issues. The Korean War/draft issues did not come through strongly. Perhaps because I was a product of the Vietnam era. With deferments through graduation from law school, I volunteered for the draft to get it over with, and served in a rifle company in Vietnam in 1967.

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    Jon Doe
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    #1202242984

    No you dont get it she saved his semen from her visits to him in the hospital or at least thats what i immidiately came to notice could be the only explanation

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